Having a website is essential for succeeding as a business, but how do you make sure it’s performing well? The answer – is Google Analytics. This completely free platform lets you thoroughly analyze your website to find out how it’s found, where people engage the most, and much more. No matter where your website is hosted or built, you can install Google Analytics – all you need to do is install a tracking code. We’re not going to discuss the installation process today, but we will tell you what the most useful Google Analytics reports are once you’re set up.
The mobile overview report is often overlooked, but it can be the difference between ranking high on the SERPs or not. At the beginning of July 2019, Google shifted its algorithm to prioritize mobile-first web development. This means that while being indexed, websites are scored based on how mobile-friendly they are. After all, an estimated 60% of all web traffic comes from mobile devices. Running the mobile overview report on your website will tell you what areas need improving.
Everyone will debate the most useful Google Analytics report, but there’s no denying the value of the Goal Overview. This feature lets you set trackable goals in the console. When you have a milestone to reach, you can better use the analytics. If you’re trying to increase sales of a certain product, you can set interaction targets along your desired paths. Then, the report will tell you if people are following your trail and converting at the end. If the results are negative, you may need to edit your content and consider a more effective Call to Action (CTA).
The purpose of your website is to make sure you’re reaching the right audience, and the audience overview helps you to keep track of this. After running this report, you will have a clear snapshot of where your traffic comes from and what your conversion rate is for each. This report is essential for grading the quality of marketing campaigns. As well as viewing real-time overviews, you can compare two time periods for peaks and troughs.
Within the audience overview, you will find many different metrics that will help you target new products and web content. However, the most useful is demographic information, which lets you categorize audiences into those who are most likely to continue browsing and eventually make a purchase.
The “Acquisition” overview provides you with a thorough overview of all traffic coming to your site. You can use it to find out how much traffic each channel is generating, check conversions, bounce rates, and much more.
Regardless of your wider SEO goals, you will always be aiming to increase your organic traffic. If you head to the “Acquisition” tab and select to view traffic by “Source/Medium”, you can assess Average Session Durations, Pages Per Session, and Bounce Rates. If Google Organic doesn’t hold the top source in this tab, it’s a clear indication that you’re focusing your efforts on the wrong areas.
The “Channels” section of the “Acquisition” tab is arguably the most important metric in the whole overview. This tab lets you see where your traffic is coming from across backlinks, social media, and Google. Understanding this information lets you better target your marketing campaign. For example, if your social media platforms aren’t generating high traffic, you may need to adjust your content plan.
Landing pages are an essential part of your website because they’re often the first screen a new user sees. If you take a look at the bounce rate report, you can see where people tend to leave your page. If leavers are concentrated on your landing pages, it means they’re not going past the first page. If this is the case, you know where to focus your content efforts.
As well as showing you the bounce rate, the report will tell you where people linger the most and which pages lead to conversions. Having access to this information lets you assess user intent to see if you’re attracting the correct audience.
New Vs Returning Users
Many businesses focus all of their efforts on attracting new users, to the point that repeat users start to feel undervalued. You can find out how many new and returning users you have by running the “New Vs Returning” report. If you find that new customers are much higher than the returning figure, you may need to focus on giving users a reason to come back. For example, you may offer a locked discount for returning users.
Also, this shows you how the design of the site appeals to returning and new visitors. For instance, you can try different web design styles for a construction company and see which one brings more clients of the type desired. The same goes for restaurants and basically any other business that needs to focus on returning users.
Site Content Report
Creating quality content requires you to understand the audience. Fortunately, the “Site Content Report” will help you do this. The information contained in this report will tell you how much time is spent browsing each piece of content. Eventually, you will spot trends on your blog that will tell you which content works the best with your audience. Having this overview will help you to plan blogs for the future.
This report isn’t available through the standard Google Analytics platform – you will need to pair it with Google Tag Manager (GTM) and activate the tools. With GTM in your corner, you can find out how people interact with your page. For example, bounce rate can tell you what pages people departed on, but the GTM will let you know at what point people left your page. You can do many things with GTM installed, as it’s essentially an add-on for the Google Analytics platform.
Build Your Own
Success looks different to everyone, which is why you can generate custom reports using the “Build Your Own” feature. To get the most out of these reports, you need to fully understand your key performance indicators, so be sure to look inwards first.
There are countless reports within the Google Analytics platform, even more so than those listed above. Although there are popular reports used by all marketers, the most useful report will depend on your personal marketing needs.